Former Nigerian Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, has spoken on his plans to stay in the country or leave for Dubai, United Arab Emirates, following his loss in the election.
News About Nigeria reports that in response to a protest by a group called The Natives, which urged Atiku and his counterpart in the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, to stay in the country and not leave for exile, Atiku said he would decide what to do.
Smart Edward, the convener of the protest, asked the candidates not to abandon the country out of frustration, saying that leaving the country after losing an election is a trademark of opportunistic politicians.
He further appealed to the candidates to accept the outcome of the election and stay in the country to contribute their talents and abilities to the development of Nigeria.
However, Atiku’s Special Assistant on Communications, Phrank Shaibu, criticized the protest, saying that his principal does not owe the group an explanation of his travel itinerary.
Shaibu stated that Atiku decides when or not to travel and asked the group to call on the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, to return to the country.
Shaibu argued that Tinubu, who was declared the winner of the presidential election, is nowhere to be found and his whereabouts should worry the protesters.
He urged them to look for him and encourage him to return to the country.
The protest comes on the heels of the announcement of the presidential election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Tinubu was declared the winner with 53% of the votes, while Atiku came in second with 43%.
The election was marred by allegations of vote-buying, voter suppression, and violence in some parts of the country.
The international community has called for an investigation into the irregularities, and Atiku has promised to challenge the outcome in court.
In the meantime, Nigerians continue to react to the election results, with some celebrating Tinubu’s victory and others expressing disappointment in the outcome.
The protest by the Natives highlights the concern that some Nigerians have about politicians leaving the country after losing an election, rather than staying to contribute to the development of the country.